I would like to tell you all about Victoria.  I don’t have a photo of when we met her first – she was very disabled and sometimes, you don’t feel it’s right to take a photo – it doesn’t seem fair upon the person or their loved ones.

Mary, Victoria’s Grandma, looks after at least 10 children and over the years we have met them all!

In 2015, Mary trusted us enough to bring Victoria to clinic.

In Uganda, disabled children are often seen as a punishment upon the family for something they could have done wrong in the past or even as the result of witchcraft or a curse.

The disabled ones are therefore hidden away – not mentioned, and thought of as bringing shame upon the family.

When Mary brought Victoria, it was a huge step of trust in the UK medical team.  She carried her on her back all the way to see us.

Victoria was 3 years old and appeared to have some kind of Cerebral Palsy.

She moved her limbs well – if stiffly – but was completely unable to hold up her head.

I held her head and she was able to walk!  Have you ever thought how heave a head is?  If you fall asleep in front of the TV and your head nods forward, it’s really heavy, isn’t it?

We had a physio with us in clinic that year but all we were able to provide was a soft collar to support her neck.  That would help in the short term, but would not bring any lasting change.

If felt like the crumbs we had to offer were just not enough this time.

I prayed for Mary and Victoria, but as a team, we really didn’t know how to help them and how to help them and how to help Victoria walk.

I felt that I had let Mary down and continued to pray for Victoria as we came home.

It came as such an answer to prayer that a chap called Ehud agreed to come with us to Uganda in 2016.  He is a physiotherapist assistant at the Loyne Special School in Lancaster.  I told him about Victoria and he knew just what to do!

So, at the earliest possibility, I introduced Ehud to Victoria in one of our clinics.  Ehud pledged to sponsor Victoria from the moment they met.

He introduced Victoria to a HULA HOOP!  Her brother held the back and she got inside the loop and held the front.  This lifted her shoulders up and supported her head.

SHE WALKED!  And continued to, giggling non-stop.

A few hours later some of the team visited Victoria’s home and they saw her, still walking in the hula hoop, with her poor brother still holding up the back.

Within 6 weeks she was walking without the hoop.

Then she learned to run…

We persuaded the newly opened school at Bombo to take Victoria as a pupil.  They were reluctant – they had no experience of teaching anyone disabled.  We put in an assistant for her – a lovely lady called Winnie.

In 2017 when we went again to do clinics the teachers thanked us for Victoria!  They said how wonderful she is and that she had joined in all the running races on sports day.  All the parents had clapped.

The community’s opinion about disabled people is beginning to change.

Victoria’s school books show that her writing is certainly better than mine was at her age AND she’s left handed as well as having cerebral palsy.

There is a group for the disabled and their relatives of all ages who can get together and enjoy spending time together in Bombo church.

They often get some refreshments but most of all, they no know that there is a place for their disabled ones to be, that they as carers are not alone and that they have nothing of which to be ashamed.

Mary had the courage to bring Victoria to us and she has fought to provide for all of her many grandchildren.  Her determination and strength have allowed those children to access help and sponsorship that has changed their lives.

God has truly answered our prayers about Victoria.

He took Ehud’s knowledge, a hula-hoop, and a little girl’s brave determination and wrought great change in Victoria’s life and the beginnings of a change in attitude towards the disabled in the community.

Victoria is such a blessing to us.  We look forward to watching her grow into a remarkable young lady and guiding her, as she walks into a bright future.


Written By:  Pauline Kaye

Date:  June 7, 2020